Deploying an External Platform Services Controller

This post will walk through the process of deploying an external Platform Services Controller (PSC) appliance. The PSC was introduced with vSphere 6.0 to deal with infrastructure services such as Single Sign-On, Certificate Authority, and licensing.  For more information on the Platform Services Controller review this KB.

The PSC can be either embedded within the vCenter Server, or external to allow scale out for larger environments. When deciding if an embedded or external PSC is appropriate review the vCenter Server deployment models here. The external PSC can be installed as a virtual appliance, or installed on a Windows server (virtual or physical). Environments can be mixed, for example a PSC virtual appliance can be deployed where a physical Windows vCenter currently exists. You may also want to review the following posts:

Installation Process

Downloaded the VMware vCenter Server Appliance here: v6.0, v6.5.

Mount the ISO on your computer. The VCSA 6.5 installer is compatible with Mac, Linux, and Windows. Browse to the corresponding directory for your operating system, e.g. \vcsa-ui-installer\win32. Right click Installer and select Run as administrator. As we are installing a new instance click Install.

psc1

On the welcome page click Next. Accept the license agreement and click Next.

psc3

For the deployment type we need to select Platform Services Controller under the External Platform Services Controller heading. Click Next.

psc4

Enter details of the vCenter or ESXi host where the appliance will be deployed, click Next.

psc5

Select a location for the virtual appliance and click Next.

psc6

Select the compute resource for the virtual appliance and click Next.

psc7

Enter a name for the virtual appliance and configure the root password, click Next.

psc8

Select the storage to use and click Next.

psc9

Select the VM network to use and configure the network settings, click Next.

psc10

Review the deploy Platform Services Controller summary page and click Finish. The Platform Services Controller appliance will now be deployed.

stage2

In stage 2 we configure the new appliance, click Next.

config

Configure the NTP server(s) and click Next.

config1

The SSO configuration page is where we determine if the PSC should be joined to an existing SSO domain or if you are creating a new SSO domain. Enter the SSO domain details and click Next.

config2

Tick or untick the Customer Experience Improvement Program and click Next.

config3

On the summary page click Finish and Ok. The PSC virtual appliance will now be configured.

config4

Once complete we can access the Platform Services Controller in 2 different ways. For the appliance management portal browse to https://IP:5480 where IP is the IP or FQDN of the virtual appliance. Login with the root account.

root

Here we can configure settings specific to the virtual appliance, such as networking, SSH, syslog, etc.

root2

To access the user interface browse to https://IP/psc where IP is the IP or FQDN of the virtual appliance. Login with the administrator@vsphere.local account created or defined in the installation wizard.

psc

Here we can configure Platform Services Controller related settings, such as permissions, certificates, etc. To join the PSC to an Active Directory domain browse to Appliance Settings, and Manage. Under Active Directory click Join.

domain

The Platform Services Controller has now been deployed and configured. Multiple PSC instances can be placed behind a load balancer to provide High Availability, as outlined in this KB.

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